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Meningitis - Alert

06 Sept 2012

There has been 5 cases of meningitis across Auckland in the last 7 days. Please be aware of the symptoms and seek help early.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is inflammation of the lining of the brain (meninges). This can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Symptoms are the same for both. Recently there has been a few deaths related to meningitis caused by a C serogroup of Meningococcol bacteria.

Meningococcal Meningitis is caused by bacteria from the family Neisseria meningitides.There are 13 serologically distinct groups, but the serogroups that most commonly cause disease are A, B, C, Y and W-135.

This article aims to high light the symptoms and signs of meningitis so you can get help early and treat this deadly disease.

How do you get Meningitis?

Meningococcal Meningitis is spread from person to person through droplets (coughing or sneezing) or direct contact with respiratory secretions. About 10% of the healthy people carry these bacteria in the noses.

What are the symptoms and signs of Meningitis?

SYMPTOMS IN CHILDREN/ADULTS

Adult Menigitis Symptoms

Stiff Neck, Headache, Fever, Vomiting, Light Sensitivity, Drowsiness or Confusion, Joint Pain, Fitting

SYMPTOMS IN INFANTS

Infant Menigitis Symptoms

Fever, Possible with Cold Hands and Feet, Refusing Feeds or Vomiting, High Pitched Moaning Cry or Whimpering, Dislike of Being Handled or Fretful, Neck Retraction with Arching of the Back, Blank and Staring Expression, Child is Difficult to Wake, Lethargic, Pale, Blothcy Complexion.

A RASH MAY OCCUR IN SOME FORMS OF MENINGITIS

What do you do if you suspect Meningitis?

Meningococcal Meningitis kills in hours. Seek treatment early. Call into Eastmed Doctors if it is working hours - 8am to 6pm weekday or 9am to 12 noon Saturdays. After hours ring the ambulance on 111 or if you are close to the emergency department go to Auckland Hospital or Starship Children's Hospital.